growing carrots that are sweet?

gardeningmomof5November 11, 2007

I grew carrots this year, and the size was good. But they were not very sweet despite claims on the seed packet. Are there any carrots that are much sweeter than others, and is there a growing condition that makes for sweeter carrots? This year I dug out a long trench and filled with a mixture of wood ashes, peat moss, compost, and packaged soil to keep the trench "clot-free". They were all pretty straight and long, but lacked any good flavor (although not bitter).

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franktank232(z5 WI)

Don't they sweeten as the temps drop? My carrots weren't great either, and i grew several different varieties. I did pick them a lot earlier then i usually do.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 9:43PM
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marquette

It might be a good idea to let us know which kind you grew, so others ca learn from your experience and give you feedback.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 12:47AM
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snappybob(SaTexas Zone 8)

Carrotts will be much sweeter if grown in cooler weather.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 3:28PM
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vgkg(Z-7)

I prefer fall carrots (planted in late Aug here) as they are sweeter and lack the "earthly" taste of summer carrots. Fall carrots can also be left in the ground for a longer harvest. "Touchon" variety is the sweetest I have found to date. I planted 5 other varieties this fall for comparison.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 8:28AM
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peggy_g(Melbourne,Fl Z9)

I grew Sweet Treat hybrid Fordhook carrot from Burpee and they were excellent. Even found a note in my journal to buy more of this seed. Sweetness II was also good. Too much N can make them taste bitter.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 8:04PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

I grew Nantes and Danvers carrots. They're shorter, blunter varieties that have done well in my clay soil. The ones I planted in September are mature now and are nice and sweet. They were even sweeter when young.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 4:09AM
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faithling(z4 VT)

Ripening in cool weather certainly improves the flavor. I've heard that the smaller, early-maturing carrots are better for summer harvests (spring planting). I've gotten decent flavor in summer from Mokum and Kinko. For fall/winter harvest I usually plant larger varieties like Bolero.

I recently read that sightly acidic soils improve the taste of carrots. That might explain why NYgardener had good tasting carrots (even when young) from clay soil. It would also explain why my carrots tasted better when my acidic-soil garden was new, and why after years of adding ash and lime to the garden, the carrot flavor is good but not fabulous. Can anyone else verify whether there is a relationship between acidic soils and carrot flavor?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 9:03AM
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vtguitargirl(Z4b VT)

I grew Danvers in raised beds. I think I planted them mid June. I harvested a bunch around Labor Day and they tasted like wood. I left the rest in the ground until we had a few chilly nights and they tasted wonderful!

I'd love to grow an early crop of sweet carrots.

faithling, Where did you get Mokum & Kinko seeds? Here in VT or through a catalog?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 6:16PM
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